2022 年 53 巻 p. 1-18
My studies of zoological taxonomy were initiated using oribatid mites as study objects. I also had the idea of looking into the biology of these mites and eventually, we were the first to discover a pheromone (geranial) produced by oribatid mites. Next, we discovered that one of the substances of the external secretion from oribatid mites serving as a defense against enemies, contains a poisonous component also used by their predator, the poison frog with bioconcentration. Geranial and neral are chemical isomers which are produced and secreted by oribatid mites. The astigmatid mites derived from the oribatid mites share the same substance (neral) as a secretion material. The traditional method of ripening a few kinds of European cheese with astigmatid mites seems to partly impart the lemon flavor of the neral to the cheese.
I have switched my research to the ecology and agricultural use of soil protists in the past, to obtain a position in the research institute of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries. Eventually, however, I focused my research towards zoological taxonomy again, but now for protists and finally, I was also involved in the revision of the eukaryotic classification.
During the study of endangered species, we redescribed the testate amoeba species, Difflugia biwae Kawamura, 1918, in the ancient Lake Biwa in Japan. We also discovered that the feather mite Compressalges nipponiae Dubinin, 1950, which was known to dwell in the wings of the Japanese Crested Ibis, had become extinct along with the Japanese lineage, and redescribed the species.
Scolopendra alcyona Tsukamoto & Shimano, 2021, described from the Ryukyu Islands in cooperation with local citizens, is the third semi-aquatic species of the genus Scolopendra Linnaeus, 1758 in the world, and the first species of the genus described in 143 years. Moreover, it is the first centipede species described by Japanese researchers in this giant centipede genus.
Ameronothrus twitter Pfingstl and Shimano, 2021, oribatid mite, was voted by the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) as one of the “Ten remarkable new marine species from 2021” as “the Japanese Twitter mite” was described with the help of Twitter, a popular social networking service. It will be essential to incorporate citizen science into zoological systematics and work with the public in scientific endeavors in the future.